Rush Fork Valley, Virginia
Conservation and Community Reign Supreme at Fields Edge Farm.
Rooted in conservation
Situated on the rolling mountainside of the Rush Fork Valley in southwestern Floyd County, Virginia, the Slusher family has created a grass-fed beef and certified natural produce operation with two guiding values: environmental stewardship and providing for the Floyd County community.
Roger and Leslie Slusher visited their local Farm Credit of the Virginias office with a vision of raising better food and an eagerness to provide nourishment to their community. As they work toward those goals, the outpouring of local support continues to excite them.
Farm to table
Fields Edge Farm supplies the area with fresh, local food. It also offers farm-to-table events to help community members develop a better understanding of where their food comes from.
“We bring a lot to the table in Floyd County, primarily our amazingly fresh produce. Often we harvest and deliver our products in the same day, so people can get a variety of veggies straight from the farm that maybe they haven’t experienced elsewhere,” Farm Manager Kat Johnson said.
In addition to delicious foods, Fields Edge Farm plans to offer agritourism experiences for the community. “We’re creating more opportunities to get people out to the farm, to indulge in the things we grow, appreciate the scenery and connect with farmers in a new way,” Kat said.
The Slushers hosted their first formal event in Spring 2020 which they put on a fireside gathering. A Brazilian chef served a savory feast of produce and meats from the farm. The festivities included the meal, music, theatre and an opportunity for community members to come together and experience the parcel of picturesque countryside that has been in the Slusher family since 1892.
Commitment to conservation
Fields Edge Farm sits on property that has provided for four generations of the Slusher family. As a result, land stewardship remains a primary consideration in decision-making. The health and longevity of their land is key as they look to the future of their operation and reflect on its past.
“We’ve farmed this valley for generations, and it always comes back to stewardship. It’s the focus of our work. The direction we are always working towards is how we can make this operation sustainable for the long run, in order to hand it over to the next generation in better shape than how we received it. Practices like cover cropping, minimum tillage and rotational grazing go a long way,” Roger said.
Leslie added, “We try to be good stewards of the land, water and air, and through that commitment, better neighbors and community members. It is important that we remain a positive community influence, on and off the farm.”